Finite Universe

Doc

Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
V.I.P.
#1
I'll start off with a link, but I want to see what everyone thinks about the possibility of a finite universe.

Tantalising evidence hints Universe is finite - 08 October 2003 - New Scientist

Basically, the link says that because of temperature readings that the universe may have a football shape and when you take a space ship in a straight line (relative to the shape of space, of course), you'll eventually end up at your starting point.
 

Mirage

Administrator
Staff member
V.I.P.
#2
Suddenly I'm reminded of Columbus and 14th century. All this talk of "the world is flat" and now here we are wondering what shape the universe is.

I don't think it really matters. The important thing is to realize that there is no scientific way even with extreme advances in technology for us ever to make it too far into the vastness of the universe.

As for me I'm good here on earth. It's cool to see space travel in movies but I think we might very well be limited to the moon and possibly Mars.
 

Van

Heavy Weapons Guy
V.I.P.
#3
Reminds me of Columbus as well. But I don't think we have the technology to even waste time arguing about this yet, do we? Even if it is true, I don't see how it will affect us in the near future.
 

Kazmarov

For a Free Scotland
#4
Considering most objects in the Universe are red-shifting from us, doesn't that seem to imply an expanding but finite Universe? The whole idea of the Big Bang should make one conclude that while the Universe is growing, it came from a finite amount of matter and is finite itself.
 

ExpectantlyIronic

e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
#5
We only know that what we can see is expanding. We don't really know what is beyond that. Save, of course, for the fact that it isn't visible to us. If the universe is flat, then we will probably never know if it is finite or infinite. Hence, why most scientists would rather it be curved. That way we could settle the matter.
 

Doc

Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
V.I.P.
#6
I understand all of the concepts about space being curved, but I just don't see it being the logical explanation for the "shape" of the universe. I don't think it has a shape, and all of the galaxies simply make up a cone leading from the origin. I refuse to call it the big bang because I don't think that the big bang is a highly plausible idea, either. I think of space as being nothing but infinite blackness in all directions, and our "universe" as just taking up space in a minuscule section of it.

What if there's other universes in what I call "space" and our "big bang" was just two crazy huge objects that happened to collide in the infinite vastness of space, and we're the remains from that?
 

pro2A

Hell, It's about time!
#7
If the universe is finate then whats beyond it? Nothing is something. You can't have nothing. The empty space in the middle of your room is something, and so is whatever is beyond the universe. Even if the universe is a big infinite loop there is something outside that loop.
 

ExpectantlyIronic

e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
#8
ScubaSteve said:
I understand all of the concepts about space being curved, but I just don't see it being the logical explanation for the "shape" of the universe.
I don't understand what you find illogical about it. It isn't a sure thing, but the concept is sound. It isn't any more logical to suggest that the universe is flat. It may be more reasonable, given that there are inductive reasons for thinking as much, but I'd suggest that we don't need to form an opinion either way. Maybe it's flat, and maybe it's not.

pro2A said:
If the universe is finate then whats beyond it? Nothing is something. You can't have nothing. The empty space in the middle of your room is something, and so is whatever is beyond the universe. Even if the universe is a big infinite loop there is something outside that loop.
What would be outside of a curved universe that has 3 spatial dimensions, and which makes up the whole of everything; meaning there are no other spatial dimensions whether accessible or inaccessible to us? I would say that it's unclear to even say there is nothing outside of it, as there is no 'outside' to such a universe. The concept simply makes no sense within the framework provided. Incidentally, when people say that the universe is flat but finite, they mean only that there is a finite amount of matter. There would still be an infinite amount of space in such a case.

Also, if we say that there must be something outside of the curved universe, we should also have to say that there must be something outside of a flat universe. We're essentially saying that for some bizarre reason, there must be more than 3 spatial dimensions. Or, otherwise, that 3 dimensional space can't be curved if there isn't a 4 dimensional space for it to be curved in. I can think of no reason to assume as much, though.
 
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soot

Registered Member
#9
We're essentially saying that for some bizarre reason, there must be more than 3 spatial dimensions. Or, otherwise, that 3 dimensional space can't be curved if there isn't a 4 dimensional space for it to be curved in. I can think of no reason to assume as much, though.
I take it you're not a fan of the string, superstring, or brane theories?
 

ExpectantlyIronic

e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
#10
soot said:
I take it you're not a fan of the string, superstring, or brane theories?
Not really. It's not that I don't think that there could be other spatial dimensions. It seems that there could be. My problem with string theory is that it doesn't provide much in the way of predictive power. I suppose that doesn't make it any less interesting or worthy of philosophical consideration, but it does make it difficult to defend as a scientific theory.